The Kansas City Chiefs start off the 2011 season with a power ranking in the top half of the NFL according to ESPN. The Chiefs come in at No. 14 according to the poll and despite winning the division championship last season, they still sit behind the San Diego Chargers (10) in this first preseason poll.
The rest of the AFC west won't be too thrilled about these rankings as the Oakland Raiders sit at No. 23, and the Denver Broncos come in at No. 29. The Raiders saw a fall from the last rankings in 2010 where they were ranked No. 15. The losses of Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller, Robert Gallery and head coach Tom Cable have obviously affected the Raiders in this first power rankings poll in 2011.
The Chiefs do not have an easy road if they want to build upon last years AFC west division championship and home playoff game. The Chiefs have games against New England, Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York and Green Bay in consecutive weeks in late November to mid-December. Considering the Chiefs have improved their team with the offseason moves that they made it's obvious that this tough schedule played a role in determining these rankings.
The Chiefs finished the 2010 season ranked No. 11 in the week 18 poll. The Chiefs will find out what kind of team they have and if they are ready to compete with the class of the AFC this season. Considering they play three of the best teams in the AFC (New England, Pittsburgh, New York (A) this season, we'll know exactly how close, or far, the Chiefs are from building a consistent winner here in Kansas City.